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Oce breaks new ground with 500 page per minute MICR printing

Press release from the issuing company

August 12, 2003 - ONE of the key boundaries of digital MICR code line printing has been removed, with the accreditation of Oce’s VarioStream 7650 and 7550 high speed printing systems for printing MICR at 500 pages per minute, by APACS (the Association for Payment Clearing Services). The decision means that BemroseBooth, the specialist and secure print services group in Derby, which installed an Océ VarioStream 7650 earlier this year, has become the first company in the UK that can print MICR code at such a speed. BemroseBooth is now able to print up to 4,000 cheques per minute – or nearly a quarter of a million documents per hour. MICR encoding, or Magnetic Ink Character Recognition, is the font format using magnetic ink that is readable by special electronic sensors throughout the UK financial system. Most commonly, it is seen as the bottom line of numbers on every cheque issued in the UK. Standards for MICR encoding are maintained by APACS, the non-statutory association of the major UK banks and building societies. Already, APACS has approved some of the Océ VarioStream 7000 series for MICR printing. The VarioStream 7650 and 7550 are both accredited for 500 A4 pages per minute, while the VarioStream 7400 can run MICR at 350 A4 pages per minute. These systems can be equipped with a Quick Change Developer Station (QCDS), allowing fast switching between MICR mode and standard black and white production printing. Users therefore have the ability to handle both specialised security printing and standard applications from the same print engine. This flexibility is the key feature of the Océ VarioStream series, with its capacity for variable data output, print speeds up to 600 pages per minute, variable resolutions up to 600 dpi, and the possibility of adding further programmable QCDS units to a twin VarioStream system to give a highlight colour capability with Océ Custom Tone technology. Bron Curley, Business Unit Director for Digital Document Systems at Océ UK, said: “This is a real breakthrough for digital printing of MICR in the UK. APACS set very stringent tests before accreditation is given, so it’s a tribute to the hard work of our team at Océ, as well as the basic calibre of the VarioStream print engine, that we have become the first to achieve this milestone. It’s great news for our customers also.” Ian Ferguson, Director of Secure Mail for BemroseBooth said. “The equipment has already been running successfully with conventional toner for 3 months. We now look forward to expanding our product range on this faster equipment, to include our security cheque mailings and other high value document packs which require E13B MICR numbering. At up to 600 A4 pages per minute, duplex facility, highlight colour capability and variable resolution up to 600 dpi, this investment in the latest variable data engines will allow us to deliver real product innovation and cost savings to our customers.”